The Sahib of Saraidadar (Part 1 of 2)

Text: R. Venkat Ramanujam Sketch: Sandeep Sen R. Venkat Ramanujam is a human geographer, who likes story-telling, and Sandeep Sen is a molecular evolutionary biologist and biogeographer, who sketches as a hobby. “Jai Ram, Sahib,” said the man walking up the dirt road as he arrived within greeting distance, deferentially drooping his shoulders and folding his hands into a loose namaste. Aghanlal was elder to me, broad-chested and well-built, a quiet and hard-working Gond adivasi farmer in Saraidadar, the village which had started out as the site of ethnographic fieldwork but which, after several months of living in, I had … Continue reading The Sahib of Saraidadar (Part 1 of 2)

Forests and Birds: Ruminations from five days in Sri Lanka’s Evergreen Forests (Part 2)

–Text and Images by Anand Krishnan; paintings by J.G. Keulemans from Legge (1880), sourced from Wikimedia Commons. As the day wears on, the calls of the endemic Purple-faced Leaf-Monkey are audible throughout Sinharaja, and the traveller may pause to listen to them at his or her own peril, for the ever-present leeches await everywhere. A multitude of butterflies, giant millipedes and beautiful lantern bugs may be found on or beside the forest trails, as may several beautiful reptiles such as the Green Garden Lizard and the Sri Lanka Kangaroo Lizard. Hiding unobtrusively in the foliage by the side of trails, … Continue reading Forests and Birds: Ruminations from five days in Sri Lanka’s Evergreen Forests (Part 2)

Forests and Birds: Ruminations from five days in Sri Lanka’s Evergreen Forests (Part 1)

–Text and Images by Anand Krishnan; paintings by J.G. Keulemans from Legge (1880), sourced from Wikimedia Commons. The island of Sri Lanka is located very close to the Southern tip of India, separated only by the narrow Palk Strait. The two landmasses have been connected and disconnected at various points in the geological history of the Subcontinent, resulting in both significant interchange of flora and fauna, and a marked degree of endemism, particularly in the evergreen forests of India’s Western Ghats and the rainforests of Sri Lanka’s wet zone. Rainfall is an important feature of Sri Lanka’s biogeography, demarcating as … Continue reading Forests and Birds: Ruminations from five days in Sri Lanka’s Evergreen Forests (Part 1)

Survival of the Quietest

By Vera E. Congruent (pseudonym) What is it about being outdoors that inspires adventure? I’ve always loved the idea of being amongst the wild elements and learning about the world: a real-life Discovery Channel show. I joined a reputed research institute to be pushed out of my child-of-the-city tendencies. I did so also to make a living by adopting a way of life (i.e. research) that at the very least does not result in direct harm to our good world. I was, and am, interested in finding out what delectable truths are hidden away beneath nature’s folds. The fact that … Continue reading Survival of the Quietest